Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 22 Mar 1927

Vol. 19 No. 1



asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health how many local authorities have adopted the resolution of the Galway Board of Health and Public Assistance calling on the Government to take immediate steps for the repeal of Section 6 of the Local Government Act, 1902, and to make provision in the forthcoming Finance Bill for recoupment to local authorities for one-half of the actual expenditure upon salaries of medical officers, trained nurses, compounders, sanitary officers, and upon the purchase of medicines and medical and surgical appliances, and what action he purposes to take thereon.

Up to the present eight Boards of Health and Public Assistance have adopted the resolution. Section 6 of the Local Government Act, 1902, enacted that the grants provided under the Local Government Act, 1898, for the recoupment of one-half the expenditure upon medical and educational expenditure in Poor Law Unions and of salaries of Sanitary Officers should not exceed in any subsequent financial year the amount paid in the financial year ended 31st March, 1902. Increases in these services which have taken place since 1902 fall to be met by the local authority, but in considering the incidence of such expenditure it is necessary to bear in mind the contributions made by the Government to the cost of poor law services as a whole. Chief of these is the agricultural grant in relief of rates on agricultural land. This grant was doubled two years ago and now amounts to £1,198,022. Of this amount a sum of £563,621 is applicable to poor relief charges. Thus, apart from grants made specially in aid of medical and educational expenditure and of sanitary salaries, a considerable proportion of the entire cost of poor law services in every county is being met by the agricultural grant. For example, in Galway County, the total net estimate for poor relief charges in the rural portion of the county in the present financial year is £82,575, of which a sum of £31,503 is being met from the agricultural grant. A somewhat similar position exists in every other county. It is not therefore proposed to effect any legislative changes on the lines suggested in the Galway resolution. No recommendation for an increase in a percentage grant for particular services could be considered without an examination of the position as a whole.